Our strategic objective is to deliver long-term and sustainable shareholder value by creating and providing productivity-enhancing solutions and services for our customers.
Our strategy for delivering this objective comprises the following five key elements:
Focus on innovative customer solutions
Innovation is at the heart of our business. Our understanding of our customers’ businesses and the productivity challenges that they face enables us to enhance our offering to them, whether that involves the supply of improved equipment or a packaged solution involving the provision of services, software and related activities. Understanding and addressing these productivity challenges enable us to strengthen customer loyalty and increase both our sales to customers and the returns we earn on those sales.
Increase our presence in key strategic markets
We build leadership positions in attractive niche markets where we believe there are opportunities for technology-led productivity enhancement. These markets currently include segments within the life sciences and pharmaceuticals, energy, transport, basic materials and technology sectors, but we also review and actively pursue opportunities in new markets.
Expand business globally
In response to a customer base that is extending its international operations and becoming increasingly sophisticated we seek to expand our business globally, with particular emphasis on emerging markets such as China, India and Latin America. Many of the businesses that we buy focus on one or two national markets, and we leverage our global footprint to accelerate their regional growth.
Accelerate operational excellence
We strive for continuous improvement in all aspects of our business operations, both to enhance customer experience and to generate efficiency and productivity gains. We do this through a range of actions, including improvements in delivery performance, service responsiveness and speed-to-market of innovations, process efficiencies and enhancements to supply chain management by outsourcing non-critical activities. In addition, we seek to improve performance and profitability by driving synergistic opportunities within and between our operating businesses and across the Group as a whole.
Deploy capital for both platform and bolt-on M&A
We acquire businesses which materially strengthen our operating companies through broadening their customer offering, reaching new customer segments or expanding their geographical presence. We do so when we judge that the returns generated through acquisition are better than those achievable through organic expansion. In addition, we invest in new platform businesses in order to establish a presence in strategic markets or complementary capabilities.